Recently, some U.S. glass manufacturers have been encouraged to join the Glass Industry Hydrogen Center program. So far, producers O-I, Libbey, National Plate Glass, Johns-Manville, and the Glass Manufacturing Council (GMIC) have said they will participate in the Great Lakes Glass Manufacturing Center's hydrogen program.
If more companies express interest in joining the program, the more likely the project will receive up to $1 billion in government funding.
The proposal was outlined by Glass Manufacturing Council (GMIC) Chairman Dr. Scott Cooper at the Glass Manufacturing Energy Decarbonisation Symposium at the 83rd Glass Matters Conference last week.
Figure 1 The Symposium on Energy Decarbonization in Glass Manufacturing last week at the 83rd Glass Matters Conference
The U.S. government wants to build hydrogen centers across the U.S. as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). The government has allocated $8 billion for the development of these regional centers to demonstrate the viability of the entire hydrogen value chain in production, processing, delivery, storage, and end-use. In addition to industrial use, the hubs will serve power generation, commercial heating, and transportation needs.
Some of the requirements on the supply side are that the two centers must be located in natural gas regions and that the feedstocks come from renewables, nuclear, and natural gas.
Dr. Cooper, who is also O-I's global glass and materials science leader, said about six to 10 centers will be created, each of which will receive $400 million to $1 billion in funding.
The U.S. government considers cost-sharing from local governments at all levels, which can come from the industry or make in-kind contributions. So, if a company invests in some equipment technology, it will be seen as assistance in kind.
The administration also made a statement on quality and diversity and wanted the centers to be located in areas where U.S. manufacturing used to be.
Dr. Cooper said the glassmaker met with the University of Toledo on May 19, where representatives from the melting furnace Celsian Group discussed the proposal.
The Glass Manufacturing Council (GMIC) also visited Congress for the first time in Washington, D.C., during National Glass Day in April.
"It's an eye-opener for us because we sit with MPs and they're listening," the delegates said. "It shows that by coming together to speak up for the industry, they're going to get attention, especially if there are In the glass industry."
There are 10 glass furnaces within 50 miles of Toledo, potentially producing 200 tons of hydrogen per day in glass making.
"My message is that if you want your organization to be a part of it, it's not too late, it's not set in stone."
"Our idea is to drive coherence behind the glass industry, sustainability initiatives, and decarbonization projects than any of us have collaborated on. These big ideas of ours need investment, and if done right, we'll get government help."
The full proposal will be submitted to the government on April 23 next year.
Any glass manufacturer interested in joining the alliance should contact Dr. Cooper or the incoming Glass Manufacturing Council (GMIC) Executive Director Kerry Ward.
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